On November 14, 2004, Firefighter Patrick Cramer was on duty for the Chicago Fire Department, working overtime at Truck Company 16. He reported for duty at 10AM. During the next ten hours, Truck 16 responded to four alarms. These alarms consisted of one still alarm, one automatic alarm, and two special duty alarms. At 8PM, while returning from a still alarm on South Ellis, Truck 16 was dispatched as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) truck to a working fire on South Cornell.
Upon arrival, Cramer and the other members of Truck 16 equipped and staged themselves as the RIT truck. They were in a standby mode, in the event that a firefighter became lost or trapped while working at the fire. The fire rapidly escalated in scope and intensity, necessitating the striking of a box alarm. At that time, Truck 16 was redeployed from their RIT duties to roof ventilation operations. Cramer was a member of the roof team, assigned to ascend to the roof of the burning structure and to cut four foot by four foot holes over the seat of the fire. Cramer utilized his eight pound axe and pike pole to cut through the roofing material. This was accomplished while dense, acrid smoke was streaming from previously cut holes and other natural openings.
After completing his duties as a member of the roof ventilation team, Cramer and his partner rejoined the other members of Truck 16. They were then assigned to the interior of the burning structure to conduct a final search of the building for any trapped occupants. After ascertaining that the building was clear or any occupants, Truck 16 exited the building and reported to the Incident Commander. Cramer was then ordered to assist in the lowering and bedding of ground ladders that had been raised on the building during the course of the fire. Cramer also assisted the engine companies in disconnecting, draining, and dragging hose lines back to the engine companies, where he aided those members in re-bedding the hose lines.
After returning to quarters following the fire, Truck 16 subsequently responded to tree more alarms during Cramer’s tour of duty. These alarms consisted of one automatic alarm, one still alarm, and one still and box alarm. Cramer worked until 8AM on November 15.
Later that day, Cramer was at Bogan Technical High School on West 79th Street. He collapsed and friends called 911 for medical assistance. Engine Company 64 was dispatched as a first responder and initiated CPR until the arrival of ALS Ambulance Company 18. Ambulance 18 initiated advanced medical procedures consistent with a patient in cardiac arrest, and then transported Cramer to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn. Cramer was subsequently pronounced dead by the emergency room physician.